Seiko vs. Fossil Watches (ALSO Featuring Timex, Diesel, & Citizen)
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Seiko vs Fossil Watches

Seiko vs. Fossil Watches (ALSO Featuring Timex, Diesel, & Citizen)

Seiko and Fossil are brands that produce some of the most wonderfully crafted timepieces on the market. Seiko’s watches embody the best qualities of Japanese watchmaking: precision, artistry, and practicality. The brand is also one of the most prolific watchmakers in the world, with its massive catalog that occupies several price points.

The brand offers an uncompromising quality of the movements and materials of its timepieces. It’s technology is incredibly diverse, with movements ranging from mechanical calibers to GPS-enabled solar-powered quartz. Whatever your budget, you can find a quality watch that suits your lifestyle and taste.

Fossil produces great-quality and fashion-forward watches. It includes a comprehensive offering, from quartz to mechanical and traditional to smartwatches, with accessible prices and various attractive designs. The brand also specializes in fashion goods like jewelry, wallets, perfume, and leather goods. It is one of the largest watch manufacturers in the world and generates much of the Fossil Group’s $2 billion annual revenue.

Although we’ve included several other brands to compare, our preference for the best entry-level watch came down to Seiko and Fossil. We’ve broken down many aspects, from history, reputation, movements, quality, and design, to conclude the winner.

Watch Brand Reputation

Diesel Watches Reputation

Diesel is renowned for its in-depth knowledge of urban cultural and technological trends. Its oversized and stylish watches cater mainly to younger generations and are easily recognizable.

Citizen Watches Reputation

Citizen has a reputation for making robust watches. They are reliable, reasonably priced, and have simple and timeless designs. The brand has had relationships with major corporations such as Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, and the U.S. Open.

Timex Watches Reputation

Timex has a reputation for its austerity, durability, and volume of models. It has affordable watches starting at $10. Great for everyday wear. The brand was the official timekeeper of the New York Marathon and Complex Con in Long Beach, LA.

Fossil Watches Reputation

Fossil is one of the broadest-styled horology brands. It mainly suits the younger audiences and fashionistas that enjoy flashy and modern styles more than the quality-obsessed aficionados.

Seiko Watches Reputation

Seiko has a sterling reputation that enthusiasts and aficionados revere due to its quality and pricing. The brand was the official timer of the Tokyo 1964 and Barcelona 1992 Olympics, four Fifa World Cups, and several athletics World Championships.

Seiko vs. Fossil Reputation Conclusion

Both brands have excellent reputations; however, Seiko’s rich heritage, ties to sports, quality, and pricing make it the clear winner.

Watch Brand Movements

Diesel Movements

Diesel watches typically have an accurate and reliable Japanese Miyota quartz movement, an industry standard for fashion watches. These movements require minimal maintenance and are slightly more advanced and expensive to make than Chinese movements.

Citizen Movements

All in-house components come from Japan, from integrated circuits to electronic chips to mechanical components. The only exception is La Joux Perret in Switzerland, which manufactured the movements used in some Campagnola watches.

Timex Movements

Their reliable and accurate quartz movements primarily come from China and Southeast Asia. Aside from quartz, some of the brand’s higher-end watches come with Chinese Seagull automatic hand-wound mechanisms. 

Seiko Movements

Seiko is one of the few wholly integrated manufacturers in the horology world. The brand has the following three movements: mechanical (hand-wound or automatic), quartz, and the proprietary Spring Drive movement. 

Seiko Mechanical Movements

Most of Seiko’s mechanical movements are high-beat, which means in juxtaposition to a standard mechanical movement that beats six to eight times per second; Seiko’s perform better, are more resistant to shocks, and are more accurate. Several watches have Seiko’s most accurate caliber, the 8L55, which has an accuracy of +15/-10 seconds per day. In contrast, most low-budget models use 4R35, which has an accuracy of +45/-35 seconds.

Seiko Quartz Movements

As the sole inventor of the quartz movement, the Japanese quartz movements by Seiko are arguably the most reliable in the market. Seiko quartz watches have an average monthly accuracy of +/- 15 seconds. While the brand’s most renowned quartz movement, the 9F caliber, has an accuracy of +/- 10 seconds a year. A few features include a twin pulse control motor and an instant date change mechanism, which can quickly switch the display in 1/2000th of a second.

Seiko’s Spring Drive

The patented Spring Drive was invented in 1997 by the talented Yoshikazu Akahane and is a mechanical movement type with quartz-like accuracy. The Spring Drive timepiece’s energy source is a mainspring transmitted through a gear train.

Spring Drive watches do not use an escapement and balance wheel. Instead, they use a “Tri-Synchro regulator” that acts like a quartz movement, thus providing similar precision. The Spring Drive is primarily found in mid-to-high-end Seiko models and has a one-second-a-day accuracy.

Fossil Movements

Fossil watches use either quartz or mechanical movements that are reliable and precise. The popular automatic movement used by Fossil, the Seagull Caliber TY2806 delivers an impressive accuracy of +10/-35 seconds per day, which is excellent because many watches that are less than $100 house this caliber.

Fossil’s battery-powered collections have Miyoa-manufactured movements. They won’t lose more than 20 seconds per month. For a brief period, Fossil offered a hybrid movement type, the mecha-quartz. The Twist movement was called a quartz-based caliber with an automatic second hand. 

Seiko Movements vs Fossil Movements

As the inventor of the quartz movement and other technology such as Spring Drive, Tri-Synchro regulator, etc., Seiko’s movements perform better and are of higher quality than Fossil’s movements.

Watch Brand Quality and Design

Diesel Watches Quality and Design

Diesel’s designs tend to create trends rather than follow them. There are only a few conservative designs; most are brightly colored, unusually shaped, and eye-catching. Most watches have a stainless steel case, reliable quartz movement, and mineral glass that covers the dial. Depending on the model, they have stainless steel, leather, or plastic wristbands. 

Citizen Watches Quality and Design

Citizen Watches

The brand offers quality watches that are dependable and enduring at reasonable price points. Rarely experimenting with anything bold and unusual, most watch designs are conservative. Cases, dials, hands, and movements are all in-house.

They make many cases with titanium and treat them with steel. Pricer models have sapphire crystals, while moderately priced ones have mineral glass. Depending on the model, they have leather, elastic, cowhide, steel, titanium, etc. wristbands

Timex Watches Quality and Design

Timex design

Timex’s watch styles are basic and conservative and can match many outfits. Most of its watches use resin, a composite blend of high-affected plastic. Due to its weight, the resin is durable if adequately attenuated and suitable for sports-related activities. They use brass for most cases, while higher-end designs use stainless steel. Lower-priced models have acrylic glass, and more expensive models have mineral glass.

Seiko Watches Quality and Design

Seiko manufactures precise, durable, and stylish watches. Generally, the more you spend on a Seiko watch, the higher the quality of the parts used. However, no matter your budget, the price-quality ratio is excellent, and the quality of materials used in many models can last a lifetime. 

Low-budget models often come with hardlex glass, which is more than enough to protect the face from severe damage during everyday use. At higher price ranges, they fit watches with a sapphire crystal. Most watch cases are stainless steel, although many high-priced models have ceramic. Depending on the model, they have stainless steel, leather, silicone, rubber, polyurethane, etc. wristbands.

Fossil Watches Quality and Design

Fossil Watches design

Fossil watch designs keep pace with the latest fashion trends, and the brand won a Fashion Tech of the Year Award in 2017. Their looks are deceiving because they are better than their moderate price tag. Fossil creates mechanical, digital, and smartwatches. Most have stainless steel cases with screw-down crowns, case backs, and mineral crystal dial windows. Depending on the model, they have wristbands made of stainless steel, leather, silicone, etc.

Seiko Watches Quality and Design vs. Fossil Watches Quality and Design

Seiko watches are well-known for their price-quality ratio, and their materials are higher quality than Fossil.

Watch Brand Prices

Diesel Watch Prices

Diesel watches are approx. in the $100 to $5000 range. Most designs are approx. in the $100 to $300 range.

Citizen Watch Prices

Citizen watches are approx. in the $100 to $20,000 range.

Timex Watch Prices

Timex watches are approx. in the $30 to $500 range. Most designs are approx less than $100.

Seiko Watch Prices

Seiko watches are approx. in the $275 to $6,500.

Fossil Watch Prices

Fossil watches are approx. in the $30 to $1,000 range.

Seiko Watch Prices vs. Fossil Watch Prices Conclusion

Fossil watches are ostensibly cheaper and may meet your needs for an everyday watch. Although more expensive, Seiko’s designs and materials are of higher quality for longevity, making it the winner.

Watch Brand Warranties

Diesel Watch Warranty

The brand warrants it against manufacturing defects for two years after purchase.

Citizen Warranty Policy

The brand warrants it against manufacturing defects for five years after purchase.

Timex Warranty Policy

The brand warrants it against manufacturing defects for one year after purchase.

Fossil Warranty Policy

The brand warrants it against manufacturing defects for two years after purchase.

Seiko Warranty Policy

The brand warrants it against manufacturing defects for five years after purchase.

Seiko Warranty Policy vs. Fossil Warranty Policy

Seiko’s five-year warranty policy is more prolonged than Fossil’s two years, making it the winner.

Our Selection: Seiko Watches

Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPB51 – Approx. $525.00

The Seiko Prospex Samurai SRPB51 has a 44mm stainless steel angular case with a primarily satin-finished surface and anti-reflective sapphire glass with a cyclops magnifier at 3 o’clock covers a black dial. Classic samurai hands and double indices at 12 o’clock have a LumiBrite coating to make them shine bright blue in the dark. The yellow seconds hand and date window at 3 o’clock contrast with the dial.

A six-screw case back that is partly brushed and polished covers the in-house 4R35 automatic caliber. It has 23 jewels, 40 hours of power reserve, and beats at 21,600 vph. The watch has a stainless steel link bracelet. Its 22mm lug makes it ideal for those who want to switch it out for a NATO strap. It has 200 meters of water resistance.

Seiko 5 Sports GMT SSK001 – Approx. $475.00

The 42.5mm Seiko 5 Sports GMT SSK001 has a stainless steel case and a hardlex crystal that covers a black dial. It has Lumibrite hands and dial markers for ostensible reading in the dark, a red seconds and GMT hand, and a date window at 3 o’clock.

The exhibition case back covers the in-house 4R34 automatic caliber. It has 24 jewels, 41 hours of power reserve, and beats at 21,600 vph. It comes with a stainless steel bracelet strap. It has 100 meters of water resistance.

Seiko LX Prospex Sky U.S. Special Edition – Approx. $5,500.00

The 44.8mm Seiko LX Prospex Sky U.S. Special Edition (less than 130 pieces made) has a titanium case with Seiko’s Dia-Shield coating, a sapphire crystal with Super-clear coating, and a gray lunar-surface textured dial. It has a LumiBrite coated GMT, hands, indices, and a black and white rotating bezel for legibility at night. 

The indices, Seiko logo, date aperture, and power reserve scale are metal. The date window has a mixture of polished and matte surfaces, and the power reserve scale has a matte surface. Seiko’s unique Spring Drive 5R66 automatic caliber has a level of precision that no other mechanically driven watch can achieve. It has 30 jewels, 72 hours of power reserve, and beats at 28,800 vph. It comes with a titanium bracelet strap that has a screw-down clasp. It has 300 meters of water resistance.

Seiko Presage SPB215 – “Castle in the Sky” Approx. $1,450.00

The 40.5mm Seiko Presage SPB215 “Castle in the Sky” Limited Edition (only 1,200 pieces made) is a collaboration with Studio Ghibil, a celebrated Japanese animation film studio. The fantasy-adventure animation Castle in the Sky inspires the watch’s design, which has clever references to the film and comes in a special edition box.

It has a stainless steel case, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and a hand-engineered cream and fire-enameled dial by artisan Mitsuru Yokosawa and colleagues. The dial has traditional roman numerals, Breguet-shaped hands, a crest at 6 o’clock, and a classic railway minutes track, all in brown. 

The exhibition case back has an inscription of an image of Laputa, and “Castle in the Sky” lettering houses the Seiko automatic 6R31 caliber that has 24 jewels, 70 hours of power reserve, and beats 21,600 vph. It comes with a brown hand-stitched leather strap with a three-fold clasp and a push button release. It has 100 meters of water resistance.

Watch Brand History

Diesel History

The founder, Renzo Ross, started stitching jeans at 15 using his mother’s sewing machine. In 1976, he worked for Moltex before obtaining a loan from his father to purchase 40% of its company holding and changing the name to Diesel. In the 2000s and beyond, Diesel licensed its brand to other retail manufacturers.

Citizen History

They founded Citizen during the 1930s when Japanese and Swiss investors used the facilities of the Shokosha Watch Research Institute and Schmid’s assembly plant. The brand would introduce innovative technology with Japan’s first fully waterproof timepiece, the Parawater. It would then introduce another innovative technology with the Eco-Drive in 1976, one of the first solar-charging movements. 

Timex History

They founded Timex in 1854 under the name of the Waterbury Clock Company. It produced clocks with brass wheels and gears in Connecticut. Iconic designs include Mickey Mouse, the V-conic, and the Timex Ironman.

Seiko History

The Japanese horology house has been creating quality watches at affordable prices with innovative technology since 1881. The company created the Seiko Astron, the first quartz movement, in 1969, which began the quartz watch revolution. In 1977, Seiko produced the first solar-powered wristwatch.

Fossil History

Founded in 1984, Fossil is relatively new to horology. It produces well-crafted dress watches and is seen as a designer brand more than a watchmaker. However, their attractive timepieces are worthy of anyone’s attention! Since 1984, Fossil has had relationships with famous designer brands and has created visually striking timepieces. 

Seiko Watches vs. Fossil Watches: Conclusion

Overall, Seiko’s watches are of higher quality and have a greater variety of styles. However, both are great watch brands. Don’t be fooled by Fossil’s fashionable watches! They are an excellent option for contemporary outfits and brands.

About Exquisite Timepieces

Established in 1998, Exquisite Timepieces is your one-stop shop for all things luxury watches! We are an authorized dealer for 60+ luxury watch brands including Omega, Hublot, Seiko, & Longines! We are proud to showcase one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch collections, including renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Check out our brand new watch arrivals here and popular pre-owned listings here.

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